Academic event 2011

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Preventing State Failure in Western Balkans in Post-crisis Period:Lessons to be Considered

Natalia Piskunova

‚ MGIMO-University, Russia

Abstract:

The present state of the art in the academic discipline of International Relations suggests challenges posed to the international system – most evidently, by those indicating the gradual decline of state as a key player in the chessfield of international affairs. The shift of focus is evident, since the classic domain of state prevalence – security is now likely to come to the hands of new players. Several regions of the world are defied by the abundance of statelessness and failure of the State as a key player in contemporary international relations to carry out its duties in political process leads to humanitarian failure. Thus, in order to obtain algorithms to prevent these tragedies in post-conflict societies of Western Balkans, there is a pressing need to scrutinize links between state failure and security.  Moreover, the examination of the prism that distorts state rule in Western Balkans is necessary to account for the possible global threats of state failure\collapse in each and any of the countries of the region. Mainly, it is the demonstration of transfer of problem of local misgovernance to the international level of threat hierarchy. To create a viable scheme for prevention of state failure in Western Balkans, it is imperative to consider the vital local structural issues in theoretical terms. For this, several grand issues are to be covered:

-What are the schemes\pathways of state failure in Western Balkans?

- Is there any relation between type of governance and potential state failure in each of the countries of the region or there is a general failure factor?

-What are the threats that governance failure and state failure in post-crisis Western Balkans may bring to international security in new global world order?

This paper covers both theoretical and practical issues. It highlights that the failure of the key player to carry out its duties in political process leads to humanitarian failure and catastrophe such as seen in Western Balkans. Thus, in order to obtain algorithms to prevent these tragedies, there is a pressing need to scrutinize links between state failure and soft security, since it is still the state which is vested with the responsibility to safeguard its citizens in these countries.  Moreover, the examination of the prism that distorts state rule is necessary to account for the new possible global threats that state failure\collapse may bring. The paper demonstrates how the local poor governance in Western Balkan states and, eventually, state failure are brought to a higher level of threat hierarchy in International Security. It is important that this paper focuses on theoretical assumptions of state failure and its theoretical interrelation with soft security issues, as previous works in this area tend to focus either on the history of the process of state failure as such, or on the problems of  security in general. In my mind, a relation between the state failure and soft security in the Western Balkans is a new analytical context to assess.

 

About author:

Piskunova 

Natalia Piskunova is a researcher at the Institute for International Relations in Moscow. She is also an International Editor and a member of the Editorial Board of Central European Journal of International Security Studies. During her research carrier Piskunova has published largely on State Failure in Contemporary System focusing in her papers mainly on North-East African states. Her main interests are Failed States, Sovereignty, International Relations, Governance and International Security. Piskunova holds a PhD in International Relations from Moscow State Institute for International Relations, Faculty of International Relations.